Friday, July 2, 2010

Cheese snack hierarchy

For the junk food rookie, the snack aisle can be hard to navigate. Smart alecky cheetahs and Twinkie cowboys seduce you from the racks, when all you came in for was an Arizona. Well good luck, because you're at a deli in Crown Heights, and I dare you to explain in Lebanese why they should carry Arnold Palmers. Yet with the amount of time I've put into between-meal eating, I feel uniquely qualified to share my guide to the Cheese Snack Heirarchy. [Anyone who's seen my seventh grade photo knows that I'm qualified to make this judgment.] With my help, maybe next time you won't be taken in so easily by that cheeky Debby bitch.

Most of this is suggestions.

Bottom of the totem pole: Cheese-flavored chips
Sour cream and cheddar potato chips? Listen, Frito-Lay, everyone knows that onion is the only thing that should be paired with sour cream. Unless you're my aunt, in which case you serve it with fruited gelatin as some kind of side dish on holidays. Merry Christmas.

Lunch box letdowns: Combos, pizza-flavored and otherwise
I never traded lunch items like they do in commercials, but something tells me these are like the North Korean won in the open cafeteria market. From the crumbly texture to the disconcerting color, Nick Kroll explained it best when he compared them to "a cat's butthole." Feel free to lump Andy Capp's abortion of a french fry into this category.

The great debate, resolved: Cheez-Its are infinitely superior to Cheese Nips.

Remember that time your dad bought Kraft Brand Cheese Nips at the store, and you were so fat that you threw a tantrum? Because it was seventh grade, and the only respite from your hellish existence was that crunchy, sodium-laden after school snack? Thank God for mom, who bought the groceries once in a while and knew to buy the ones that had the same salinity as your own tears.

Classic at any age: Doritos
Whether it's the inexplicably blue Cooler Ranch or Nacho Cheesier, Doritos have had as many incarnations as a Brahman priest. While there are notable exceptions to its delicious repertoire (lookin' at you, Sweet Chili), a true Doritos devotee knows that these, too, shall pass. Maybe with time we'll even forgive you for that misguided Missy Elliott campaign.

Top of the food chain: Cheetos
Finally, the apex of cheesy, salty snacking: Cheetos. Don't waste my time asking about their puffed variety, because fuck that static. Chester Cheetah did not build his fortune on generic corn puffs. What America wants are his dense, buttery bags of compacted orange chemicals. While the shtick may be stale, the product never will be. Snack strong, my friends. Snack strong.

That should be enough to repel prospective employers! Coming next week: A sober and thorough analysis of potato chippery.

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